Pancake Play, Beach Cafes & Shell Sculptures

I decided to let the girls start the Pancake Tuesday celebrations early this week πŸ™‚ Yesterday, I made them some homemade playdoh to use as “pancake batter.” I gave the girls an old frying pan and some utensils for flipping their pancakes. They ended up making quite elaborate displays – I think watching the Junior Bake-Off has influenced their presentation πŸ™‚

I did lots of cooking for the week yesterday and made another batch of my favourite granola. There is something therapeutic about making it – I like pressing it into the tin and adding all the different nuts and dried fruit πŸ™‚ The girls like it too and it is rare for them to agree on a breakfast food πŸ™‚

We went for a walk to the park and afterwards, I gave the girls some Pancake Tuesday-themed activity sheets to do. There was one where they had to cut out the ingredients used for pancakes and paste them into a bowl. The other one involved drawing their favourite pancake toppings on top of a pancake. One of my daughters doesn’t like pancakes, so hers was imaginary πŸ™‚

This morning, I wasn’t feeling very happy, so I put on my New York dress and took myself and the girls to the beach πŸ™‚ Just looking at the pattern of buildings and yellow taxis lifts my mood and I find being beside the sea so healing πŸ™‚ We went early so the girls had the playground to themselves at first. It felt like springtime and the breeze was warm πŸ™‚ I enjoyed the view whilst watching the girls climbing and see-sawing. We went for a walk along the beach and I decided to collect white shells and stones – I just felt like they were standing out most in the sun and like I needed some today πŸ™‚ The girls paddled in their wellies and went to the little stream they always seem to feel the urge to jump into πŸ™‚ I like standing so close to the sea it’s like looking at it from a boat πŸ™‚ They made some more sand mounds and then we went for a walk along the coastal path. We found another little private beach and had it to ourselves for a while. There were plenty of rocks to climb on and the girls made themselves a little kitchen on them. They cooked me mussels and “oysters” and found big, flat rocks to use as trays to serve them on πŸ™‚ Then we had a cookie picnic and watched the sea for a while. I love seeing how much joy it brings the girls when they find a shell they like too πŸ™‚

When we got home, I wanted to make something to represent our day, so we made shell sculptures πŸ™‚ I had some clay, so we just moulded it into different shapes and then decorated it with shells. We might paint them tomorrow – I’m still undecided about that πŸ™‚ My daughter seemed to find it hilarious when she asked me what mine was supposed to be and I said I didn’t know πŸ™‚ I just felt like playing with clay and shells πŸ™‚ I helped her to make a “donut” out of clay and then we arranged shells in it to get them to stand up. My other daughter made a cat face with shell paws held up to its cheeks πŸ™‚

While we were at the beach, my daughter insisted on bringing seaweed home to make a face mask. I didn’t know how we were going to achieve that, so I made one minus the seaweed and they put it on and cucumber slices to “relax.” My kids never relax for long, so it lasted about five minutes, but at least it satisfied her need to make face masks πŸ™‚ I’m wondering how else to use the seaweed now though because I don’t like to waste anything πŸ™‚

We had some “Fat Tuesday” pancakes from my Midnight Chicken book. They are like crepes and so easy to make, but I always forget to take pictures πŸ™‚ They are the kind of pancakes that have to be eaten immediately or they aren’t the same. I might make some of my American ones later for dessert. It feels like a day for plenty of pancakes, reading and relaxation πŸ™‚

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